‘Imagine yourself as an eagle’: Small high school’s bold ambitions
MILES State High School will be making major changes to their learning programs over the coming months.
Principal Josette Moffatt said the school will be trying out new technology programs to equip students for the future.
“It’s something we’ve had to embrace,” she said.
“Like the whole world, we’ve had to take that extra step.”
Digital technologies used during the lockdown such as OneNote will still be available to students in the future.
The small school of 176 students is currently developing a STEM centre where they will have access to 3D printers, robotics and Lego.
“We have a vast stake in technology and STEM here.”
The new STEM room is expected to be completed by late June.
Deputy principal Ashley Spain believes students need to be equipped with the skills that will be useful to them in the future.
“It’s about 21st Century skills that are embedded in the school curriculum,” he said.
“We see ourselves as a competitive player.”
Mr Spain said a combination of ICT and ‘society’ skills will help students from the small community of Miles gain a global outlook on life.
Although elective options are limited compared to larger schools, they have been tailored towards building real-world skills.
“We encourage the students to engage in that way.”
One of the new subjects being offered from Year 7 is entrepreneurship.
Head of department for engagement and learning Caleb Kuhl is teaching the new course.
“We do have our 21st Century skills four our learning intent,” he said.
“We’re in the very early stages of this.”
Mr Kuhl said this program aims to develop ‘soft skills’ for students like conversational skills, teamwork and co-operation.
“It does need to be a progressive course.”
The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy will be funding a new STEM program for students in year 7-10.
Mr Kuhl said it will offer courses in coding with projects like games, drones and chat bots.
The school offers foreign language courses to students as part of the curriculum.
Mandarin teacher Lizhe ‘Richard’ Leong said learning China’s most spoken language helps students appreciate that part of the world.
“How are they going to understand that part of the world,” he said.
“We’re trying to improve thinking rather than spoon feed.”
Mr Leong believes teaching is an opportunity to help students through emotional times in high school.
“They need to stop believing people telling them you’re a pig.”
“Try and imagine yourself as an eagle.”
He thinks the students have a bright future ahead of them.
“We are lead by big dream leaders.”